Jimmy Butler has been agitating to fill what he considers to be a leadership void within the Chicago Bulls, which has given some local reporters the perfect excuse to fan the flames of a supposed rift between Butler and superstar teammate Derrick Rose.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, however, Butler became disenchanted with Rose’s work habits during team practices last season:
According to the source, Butler considers Rose a friend, but “doesn’t have a lot of respect for his work ethic.’’ In Butler’s mind, Rose was considered the face of the franchise, and if the face of the franchise wasn’t busting his butt in practice every day, especially last season, what was the message to the rest of the team?
“We all saw this coming,’’ the source said. […] The source said that Butler also took note of a Rose comment in the playoffs last season, in which the Bulls point guard was asked if Butler had reached superstar status, and responded, “I think it’s going to take a little minute for Jimmy to get there.”
Jimmy Butler took his game to an All-Star level over the last several years. Much of it while you were gone. So when you came back, people started to wonder ‘now how are those guys playing together?’ The word feud was thrown out there. What’s the key to having two alpha dogs in the Bulls backcourt?
Rose: “I don’t think it’s about that. I just think that it’s a big picture. We’re two blacks. African-American guys that’s on the team. We’re just trying to find a way to get going. I think if it was the other way around it wouldn’t be that way. But, it’s just my honest opinion about it. And I just felt like me and Jimmy never had a feud. I remember seeing Jimmy in college play with my friend in JUCO. From JUCO to Marquette. Marquette, all the way up here to an All-Star. I have nothing but joy and excitement whenever you talk about Jimmy. I think it was just something to talk about at the time.”